VR Standing Ergonomics

Playing standing games in virtual reality can be great for the body. Playing the wrong way can cause pain, fatigue and keep you from the fun and best performance that you deserve. Check out these tops tips to supercharge your virtual reality gaming.

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by Scott Johannes, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Health Content Writer

Why read this?

Community members that have used this information have reported experiencing:

  • Less pain while playing (feet, knees, hips, back, neck)
  • Improved energy, allowing longer play sessions
  • Less muscle fatigue, less muscle burning during play
  • Improved overall comfort during play
  • Improved safety during play (let risk of slipping / falls)
  • Faster reactions
  • Faster body movements
  • More fun playing
  • Improved game performance / in-game scoring

1. Wear supportive shoes

What would you wear if you were about to do an active hobby that involved a lot of movement? Many people’s answer would be running shoes, track shoes, cross-trainers, or something similar. Virtual reality gaming can involve a lot of body movement, so wearing shoes that match this expectation is needed. Make sure the shoes fit well, are tied tight enough, have adequate padding in them, and support the arch of your foot.

2. Play on a padded surface

Padded surfaces help cushion the impact as the body moves while playing. If you play on carpet, this may provide all the padding that is needed. If your playspace includes a hard floor, consider adding foam or rubber interlocking tiles. These provide needed cushioning, but can also provide better grip and the slightly springy surface can provide a tiny rebound that helps improve movement speed during faster games.

3. Balance the headset weight

Headsets come in all different shapes, sizes and weights. Over time, headsets will get lighter as technology progresses, which is good for health. Headset weight distribution is important too. Put on your headset, and tighten it to the best fit you can. Does it feel front-heavy to you? It shouldn’t. The weight of the headset should feel centered front-to-back on your head when tightened.

Community members have found success fixing this issue by:

  • Buying aftermarket headset straps that better distribute the weight
  • Buying aftermarket headset batteries and strapping them to the back of the headset
  • Attaching other weighted objects to the back of the headset

4. Bend / squat with proper form

Woman performing a proper form squat
Woman performing a proper form squat

While playing in VR, a person’s body may move in unhealthy ways. When ducking underneath an object, it may be tempting to bend at the hips and round the back. Instead, use a proper squat form to lower the body.

How to do a proper squat:

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed slightly out
  • Bend your knees and hinge at the hips to lower the body
  • Butt back, chest up, looking forward with arms in front
  • Knees should not be forward of the toes or fall inside of the feet

Summary

Keeping the right ergonomics when you are standing to play can help with performance, and keep you more comfortable.

Give a couple of them a try today to update your play!

Free printable

Print and hang up this FREE printable in your VR play area as a reminder of what you learned here.

Printable: VR Standing Ergonomics

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